In episode 73 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
Before you drink anything, it is important to read the label of ingredients to know exactly what you are consuming. Most sports drinks are not healthy, and, although people understand that, it is essential to know why they aren’t and the ingredients that you should avoid. Four good examples of unhealthy ingredients in sports drinks are found in Mountain Dew Code Red, Starbucks Double Shot with Protein, Diet Coke, and Rockstar Organic Drink.
Just because a manufacturer puts a label like “organic” on their product, that does not necessarily make it healthy. Things like sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients like corn syrup, are things that you will want to pay attention to, to know what you are really consuming. DR. CHAD LARSON
When you read the label of a can of Mountain Dew Code Red, what you see listed first is carbonated water. The way that manufacturers are required to list their ingredients is by listing the highest amount first.
Next on the list of ingredients in Mountain Dew Code Red is high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is one of the worst products that has ever been introduced into the food supply. Second only to hydrogenated or trans fats, which are disappearing from the food supply, high fructose corn syrup is not easily metabolized in the liver. That means that it turns to fat quickly in the body.
It also spikes insulin, leading to insulin resistance, which puts a person on the fast track to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The reason that companies use it is that it is super cheap, more so than sugar. In Mountain Dew alone, there are over 77 grams of sugar. 77 grams of sugar is enough to suppress immune function, liver function, and to change the liver’s ability to process glucose.
Because it contains too much sugar, the liver turns it into triglycerides, which turn to fat in the blood, that eventually get trapped in fat cells. Other ingredients like the red, blue and yellow food coloring are awful all on their own.
The label of Starbucks Double Shot with Protein says that it contains 20 grams of protein. Although it probably does, the sources of the protein come from reduced-fat milk, milk protein concentrate, and sodium caseinate, which are not good sources, and really can’t be counted as a good daily intake. There are also 20 grams of sugar listed on the label. That is a significant amount of sugar, and too much to consider it a “healthy” drink.
Diet Coke is one of the worst offenders. On the label, it claims that it has 0 calories and 0 sugar. What it does contain is a chemical called aspartame. Aspartame breaks down into phenylalanine, which is a substance that disrupts the body’s production of neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine and serotonin.
The building blocks to the neurotransmitter dopamine is tyrosine, and for serotonin is tryptophan, but they can’t cross into the brain for the production of neurotransmitters without large neutral amino acid transporters, which acts like a cab.
The problem is that phenylalanine, can also hop onto large neutral amino acid transporters, and when it does, it knocks of tryptophan and tyrosine, which stops them from reaching the brain. When that happens, it can disrupt a person’s production of neurotransmitters, which affects their overall well-being and emotions.
Rockstar “Organic” drink is labeled as organic to try to catch the eye of the consumer who knows what to look for in the foods that they eat. The label says that the drink is 100% USDA certified organic, which might make you think that it is healthy for you.
When you look at the label, the first ingredient is carbonated water and the second is “organic” cane sugar, which is sugar nonetheless. The amount of sugar on the label is 23 grams, but that is only for one serving.
Since one can has two servings, that means that you are consuming over 46 grams of sugar, which is going to turn to fat. Although it is organic, the sugar content of the drink is not healthy, and drinking it will actually put you on the fast track to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Although other cultures might eat a large portion of simple carbohydrates, they don’t experience the same obesity rates because they don’t consume as much sugar.
Although France’s diet is chalked with bread and wine, they only consume about a third of the sugar that the American diet does – which is enough to account for the so called French Paradox. And Asian, like Japan, only consume about a fourth of the sugar, which is why they do not have the same issues with chronic illnesses related to obesity. But, as their diets become more “Americanized” their rates of the same conditions have risen.
Just because a manufacturer puts a label like “organic” on their product, that does not necessarily make it healthy. Things like sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients like corn syrup, are things that you will want to pay attention to, to know what you are really consuming.
Sugary drinks really have a huge influence on the American diet and the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. So, before you take a product’s look for granted, read the label to know what you are really drinking and eating to stay healthy.